Definition of make-work in English:

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North American


Denoting an activity that serves mainly to keep someone busy and is of little value in itself: a make-work scheme for lawyers
More example sentences
  • He may be a wash-out as an MLA, but all by himself, he's served as a one-man make-work project for northern lawyers.
  • I don't really care much about Dr. Corday's lovelife, and the boxes in the admissions area seemed like a make-work project for the writers as well as the characters.
  • As we can all see now, their actual purpose, apparently, is to create three juicy make-work projects for Nunavut's ailing construction industry.


Work or activity of little value that serves to keep someone busy.
Example sentences
  • Then they give the companies all kinds of make-work in exchange.
  • They are also masters of make-work, bureaucracy, and Kafkaism.
  • Martins's two short ballets, both to John Adams music, are unabashed make-work.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: make-work

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